"I mean, I always knew my life wasn't over yet... but I never thought it hadn't even started yet." I looked incredulously at J with my hand still hovering over the pause button on the car stereo. 

He gets this goofy little grin on his face when he knows I've had an epiphany. It's an excited, but empathetic look, like he's known for years what I'm just figuring out. But he could tell I was choking on a little bit of emotion threatening its way out and he was probably trying not to quote Hook at the moment, but normally at this point in a conversation one of us would pop out:

Smee: I’ve just had an apostrophe.
Hook: I think you mean an epiphany.
Smee: Lightning just struck my brain.
Hook: That must’ve hurt.
— Hook the Movie

Instead he waited.

We were listening to an audiobook by Brene Brown, my real-life hero, and she was telling a quick version of her story and how she got to be a shame researcher.

She said she went to her boss in her late twenties/early thirties and turned in her notice and her boss seemed to scoff and made a joke about her going back to school for social work. But then that's what she did. She got her bachelors, her masters, her doctorate and now--10+ years later--writes books that help a lot of people, including me.

I went to college once. I got a degree once.

Photo by Death to Stock Photo

Photo by Death to Stock Photo

And just about every day since I've regretted those two decisions.

I've been convinced that it's too late for me to get started doing what I really want, because I picked something else when I had the chance.

We don't have the money.
Don't have the time.
Don't I just want to be a mom now that I have a 6 month old?
I'm almost in my thirties...

It's just too late.

At least, those are the things I tell myself whenever I think about it.

So here I am. The same age as my hero when she started a new journey. Mourning the loss of the life I thought I'd have. Realizing that I idolize her life, that she didn't start until she was my age! When I hear her story, I hear the beginning of the story starting in her thirties.

Start. Right Now? Aren't I almost done?

"I knew my life wasn't over. I just hadn't realized it hadn't started yet."

It's super scary to think about starting over. Thank God I get to keep J and N around. Still, it's a bit terrifying.

If Brene Brown can do it, so can I... right?

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